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Why This Matters: Hurricane season really gets serious only now, so the worst is still ahead of us. And the revised forecast is a big increase over what had been forecast at the beginning of the season when NOAA said there was a 70% chance of 13 to 19 named storms. Now they have 85% certainty it will be much worse. In fact, they expect that there could be three to six storms that end up as major hurricanes like Maria, Dorian, and Michael, which caused so much destruction and will take billions of dollars to rebuild and years of recovery efforts. More than 100,000 people across 3 states are still without power just from Tropical Storm Isaias, which does not bode well for the rest of the season.
According to NOAA, this year has seen a “record-setting nine named storms so far and has the potential to be one of the busiest on record. Historically, only two named storms form on average by early August, and the ninth named storm typically does not form until October 4.” Why so bad? The ocean is particularly warm in the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, and the tropical Atlantic trade winds are weak, with reduced wind shears and a stronger West African monsoon season and these conditions are expected to remain in place for several months. NOAA’s lead hurricane prognosticator, Gerry Bell, explained “This year, we expect more, stronger, and longer-lived storms than average, and our predicted ACE range extends well above NOAA’s threshold for an extremely active season.”
by Amy Lupica, ODP Staff Writer Extreme weather and permanent droughts are sweeping across the Western U.S., and with them comes an increasing demand for A/C and power. But cooling buildings through increasingly severe heatwaves takes a significant toll on power grids, and a new study has found that a significant heatwave blackout in three major American cities […]
by Natasha Lasky, ODP Staff Writer As summer approaches, the Northern Plains of the United States and the Canadian Prairies, which are the world’s key growing regions for canola and spring wheat, are experiencing a record-breaking drought. Now, farmers fear that these parched fields won’t yield enough crop to satisfy unusually high demand. This fear […]
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